“Maths is so boring”, said the first sleepy-headed teenager to arrive at Hartshill’s Maths booster course. “Normally I sleep in until 7.30, but was told to be here early for the Maths booster. I missed breakfast, but did brush my teeth…”
Well, I’m sure as teachers we’ve all been challenged by the blunt honesty of teenagers, when talking candidly about their love affair with Maths.
I resisted the temptation to warm him up with my citrusy impression of king of comedy Keith Lemon, or my joke about “best to let sleeping dogs lie”, or, even worse, my pathetic stand-up routine incorporating Alan Partridge rolling up on the first day as a bespectacled graduate Maths teacher!
And was it ever so different? Although I am lucky to be Principal Teacher with CreateInspireMotivate and have had a long and beautiful love-in with teaching Maths (and English too…) I can still recall ashen-faced friends from my schooldays who winced as our ever-infectious Doctor of Maths cartwheeled across the classroom like an Olympic athlete before eagerly launching into an awesome, adrenaline-fuelled 500-question mental maths rollercoaster extravaganza.
And then there were the formulae… areas of circles, volumes of prisms, exterior angles of polygons, the legendary Pythagoras, (the godfather of the right angle triangle!), quadratic equations, congruent triangles…
Here at CreateInspireMotivate our philosophy is exactly that – to create, inspire and motivate – and that’s the way we played our intensive boosters at Hartshill in Warwickshire – ‘boosting up’ GCSE Maths students to the best ever crop of results in a school that had once been languishing in ‘special measures’.
I delivered three years of creative, intensive and motivational GCSE Maths. GCSE results soared, with the best-ever crop of results recorded in 2013!
The students were initially quite sceptical: to them, maths was ‘boring’, but once I’d inspired them with my infectious enthusiasm there was no stopping them.
My challenge was to make maths fun, and I used a host of interactive techniques to motivate the students, even making algebra fun.
Feedback from the courses was amazing: initially sceptical students were inspired and motivated, they realised it wasn’t so hard after all and they found their confidence – yes, algebra was fun! And no, they didn’t yawn (except when we turned our backs for a quick sip of refreshing Ribena and they suppressed a cheeky yawn…)
Good humour, thoughtful course design and detail, dedication, patience and commitment are the hallmarks of our trade – every single student matters on every one of our courses. Your students can love Maths again. “Oh happy days………” We will them to succeed. We want them to do well.
But, most of all, we create, we inspire and we motivate…. and we reward them when they get it right!
Boring? No, it’s not a word that enters our vocabulary at CreateInspireMotivate. As one student succinctly put it: “Maths with you is sweet. We learned such a lot. Yes, you can come again…”